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Cancer Res. 1999 Dec 15;59(24):6276-83.

Comparison of effects of two polymorphic variants of manganese superoxide dismutase on human breast MCF-7 cancer cell phenotype.

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Radiation Research Laboratory, B180 Medical Laboratories, The University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242, USA.


Two polymorphic variants of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), with either Ile or Thr at amino acid 58, (Ile58MnSOD or Thr58MnSOD), have been found in the human population. The MnSOD activity of these two variants and their effects on the malignant phenotype of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells were compared. It was demonstrated that MnSOD-overexpressing clones obtained from transfection of the two MnSOD cDNAs into MCF-7 cells had increased MnSOD immunoreactive protein and increased MnSOD activity. Cells overexpressing Ile58MnSOD had 3-fold higher MnSOD activity than cells overexpressing Thr58MnSOD in vivo at an equal MnSOD protein level. Tumor-suppressive effects of MnSOD-overexpressing cells were indicated by: (a) decreased plating efficiency; (b) elongated cell population doubling time; (c) lower clonogenic fraction in soft agar; and (d) complete inhibition or delayed onset of tumor formation in nude mice. When compared on the same activity basis, the suppressive effects of Ile58MnSOD were similar to those of Thr58MnSOD. However, far more Thrs58MnSOD protein was required to obtain the same amount of MnSOD activity, making the Thr58MnSOD far less effective. A dose-response suppressive effect was observed when the increase of MnSOD activity was moderate. We conclude that MnSOD is a tumor suppressor in human breast cancer, but the Thr58 form of the protein is a much less effective tumor suppressor than the Ile58 form of the protein.

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